The subject came up when Mayor Sonny Posey formally sought the Council’s permission to offer a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the blaze believed to have been set by arsonists early Sunday morning.
While discussing an increase in the reward to $7,500, Patton indicated that authorities may already be hot on the trail of the individuals responsible for the fire.
Councilor Gary Cowen said news about the fire at a playground specially built to accommodate physically challenged children made him “nauseated.”
APEX is an acronym for Accessible Playground Extreme Experience.
The fire is also being investigated by the State Fire Marshal’s Office. State Fire Marshal Edward Paulk could not be reached for comment by press time Tuesday.
City employee Jennifer Smith, who was instrumental in securing funding for the $350,000 playground before it was built in 2007, estimated that the fire caused about $150,000 in damage.